Selected Quotes from Some Christian Mystics:
What it takes to be truly spiritual? In an absolute sense, spirituality refers to the enlightened state of existence which one can attain only after seeing the God or realising self-identity with the Supreme Being. In a relative sense, it means to live a life of that kind of discipline which ultimately leads to the realisation of God. Spirituality, thus, is experiencing, seeing. Seeing what exists. And we can’t say, it is not factual. It is a fact which is predictable & verifiable in experience.
"Experience", said Swami Vivekanand, "is the only source of knowledge. In the world … religion is not taught as a science of experience. This should not be so… A small group of men who teach religion from experience, are called mystics and these mystics in every religion, in every country, in every age, speak the same tongue and teach the same truth. This is the real science of religion, as mathematics."
Below are some of the quotes from three prominent Christian mystics borrowed gratefully from blogs of my friends and some websites:
Meister Eckhart (1260 – 1328, Germany):
In one God is found, so to find God, a man must be one. God is "a light shining in itself" that he is manifest neither in time nor place , that he is an unspoken word, he is causeless, with no before or after, he is neither being nor goodness, nor spirit. It is no good trying to understand this by using reason,. God is not a thing nor has he a body. He is neither form or matter. When a man goes out of himself to find God or fetch God, he is wrong. I do not find God outside myself nor conceive him excepting as my own and in me. God is pure oneness, being free of any accretive multiplicity of distinction even at a conceptual level. [Divine Consolation]
God is infinite in his simplicity and simple in his infinity. Therefore he is everywhere and is everywhere complete. He is everywhere on account of his infinity, and is everywhere complete on account of his simplicity. Only God flows into all things, their very essences. Nothing else flows into something else. God is in the innermost part of each and every thing, only in its innermost part. [Sermon LW XXIX]
The One descends into everything and into each single things, yet remaining the One that unites what is distinct. [Sermon LW XXIX]
God . . . is the being of all beings. [Sermon LW XXIX]
All things are contained in the One, by virtue of the fact that it is one. for all multiplicity is one, and is one thing, and is in and through the One. . . The One is not distinct from all things. Therefore all things in the fullness of being are in the One by virtue of its indistinction and unity. [Sermon LW XXIX]
When we turn away from ourselves and from all created things, to that extent we are united and sanctified in the soul’s spark, which is untouched by either space or time. This spark is opposed to all creatures and desires nothing but God. [Sermon DW 48]
If we are to dwell in him . . . we should take leave of ourselves and of all things and be attached to nothing external which acts upon the senses within. [Sermon DW 40]
Therefore it is in Oneness that God is found and they who would find God must themselves become One. . . And truly, if you are properly One, then you shall remain One in the midst of distinction, and the multifold will be One for you and shall not be able to impeded you in any way. [On the Noble Man]
Thomas a Kempis (1380 – 1471, Germany):
Learn now to die to the world, that you may begin to live in Christ. Despise all earthly things that you may go freely to Christ. You will never enjoy peace until you become inwardly united to Christ. The more completely a man dies to self, the more he begins to live to God. True peace and joy is to be found in Me alone. The mind of man is prone to delusions. Unless a man’s soul is raised, set free from all attachments to earthly things, and wholly united to God, neither his knowledge nor possessions are of any value. Blessed are the ears that hear the pulse of the divine whisperer, and give no heed to the many whisperings of the world” A man is hindered and distracted in proportion as he draws outward things to himself. An humble knowledge of thyself is a surer way to God than a deep search after learning. Great tranquility of heart is his who cares for neither praise not blame. How quickly passes away the glory of this world! Purity and simplicity are the two wings with which man soars above the earth and all temporary nature.
St John of the Cross (1542 – 1591, Spain):
The aim of the spiritual life is the state of union with God through love. The soul and God seem to be one. God is ever present in the soul communicating and preserving its natural being just as the sun shines on the window. The path to union with God is the narrow way which leads to life; to imitate Christ is to die to self. All of the world’s wisdom and human ability contrated with his infinite wisdom of God is pure and utter ignorance. When God grants this supernatural favour to the soul, so great a union is caused that all the things of both God and the soul become one, the soul appears to be God more than a soul.